Helical Pile Performance in Soils Susceptible to Liquefaction
Ram Jack Systems Distribution donated $14,000 to ensure full funding of a study being conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The study aims to evaluate the performance of helical piles in seismic events where soils are susceptible to liquefaction.
Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) recently announced their commitment to donate $20,000 for the proposed study submitted by Ramin Motamed, Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Darin Wills, P.E., director of engineering at Ram Jack as well as a member of the DFI Helical Piles & Tiebacks Committee (HPTC), suggested Ram Jack donate the remaining funds needed for the research.
"Our executive committee reviewed Dr. Motamed's study proposal, and we determined the study is an essential component in HPTC's overall effort to evaluate the effectiveness of helical piles when they are subjected to seismic forces," said Willis. "Without fully funding the proposed study, Dr. Motamed would not have the necessary funds to conduct comparative tests with other foundation types such as concrete piers, and our executive committee felt such tests are essential to the overall understanding of how helical piles perform relative to other piling systems," he added.
Willis also serves on a six-member advisory board for the research project, whose members all are donating at least nine hours of engineering services as an in-kind contribution to the project.
The study, entitled, "A Pilot Experimental Study on Helical Piles for Underpinning of Shallow Foundations on Soils Susceptible to Liquefaction," will have two phases. The first will validate results by using 1/5 scale model testing to match the full-scale testing conducted by Amy Cerato, Ph.D., P.E., professor at University of Oklahoma, "Large-Scale Shake Table Test to Quantify Seismic Response of Helical Piles in Dry Sand." Second, the study will carry out extensive testing on helical piles as well as other pile types to evaluate behavior in liquefied soils.